Mon, Jan 27, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Police probe Chang Te-cheng’s motive

ACT OF REBELLION?In a letter sent to media outlets, Chang said the only way to bring down a government was via ‘radical action,’ but he has yet to be questioned

By Rich Chang and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter and Staff writer

Military police officer Wu Chung-ho yesterday re-enacts for the media his actions on Saturday, when he slammed shut a bulletproof door leading to the Presidential Office Building to stop a truck that rammed through the building’s front gate.

Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times

Police have been unable to interview the driver who rammed a truck into the main gate of the Presidential Office Building on Saturday as he is still in serious condition, but investigators have found writings of his expressing dissatisfaction with his divorce, the judiciary system and the state of society that may shed light on his motives.

The incident took place at 5:05am on Saturday when Chang Te-cheng (張德正) drove a 35-tonne truck into the Presidential Office Building, ramming through three layers of protective barriers and speeding up a flight of stairs before crashing into a bulletproof door.

Chang is receiving treatment in an hospital emergency unit for injuries he sustained in the impact and is under police guard, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday.

He will be questioned by prosecutors as soon as he is able to talk, the prosecutors’ office said.

Taipei’s Zhongzheng First Precinct Police Chief Fang Yang-ning (方仰寧) said that a preliminary investigation had ruled out politics as a motive for Chang’s actions, but that messages he posted online showed he had been unhappy about the dissolution of his second marriage and upset over a court decision sentencing him to 40 days in confinement for committing an act of violence against his ex-wife.

Eastern Broadcasting Co (東森電視) said that it received a letter from Chang yesterday that he had sent before ramming into the Presidential Office Building that read: “If someone dies in the incident, I would like to be sentenced to death; if not, I would like to be given a life sentence.”

“There is no way to overthrow a bad government unless you take radical action... I could not do it during the daytime because there would be a lot of traffic and people, so I chose to do it in the early morning... I have studied the place for so long,” Chang wrote on Facebook on May 29 last year.

In an article posted on his blog on Sept. 9 last year, Chang said he could only say sorry to the transportation company where he started working six months ago, but added that “at least the company will become famous.”

“I am neither a supporter of the pan-blue camp nor the pan-green camp. I have voted once for both A-bian [former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁)] and [President] Ma [Ying-jeou (馬英九)],” Chang wrote on his blog.

He said that the powerful and economically privileged should never look down upon “lowly commoners” like himself, “for they are the most vital and fundamental component of the nation.”

“We the people are small and insignificant, while you the politicians are big and powerful. I agree with the opinions of [one of] the university students who hurled shoes [at politicians.] He once said that his mind was clear when he threw the shoes and that he was more than aware of the possible consequences of his actions,” Chang wrote.

“I myself am also aware of the possible repercussions of my plan [to ram the truck into the Presidential Office Building,]” he added.

Chang also dismissed accusations leveled by his ex-wife’s brother that he had abused his former spouse.

The transport driver said he chose to vent his anger at the nation’s judges through words because there was no guarantee that his divorce case would be assigned to a better judge if he appealed the ruling and because he did not have the luxury of time to deal with more unjust court officials.

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